JAKARTA – Aedas makes it its mission to set out for a new frontier in workplace design as it completes the Unilever Indonesian headquarters. Situated on the outskirts of Jakarta, the most populated city of Indonesia, the traditional office tower is replaced by a low-rise complex, enticing the employees with its overhanging terraces, abundant daylight, and generous open spaces.
The office building is a composition reminiscent of traditional village planning, where users navigate from a main square to roads and streets as you make your way through the building. Aedas executive director Steven Thor and executive principal Steven Shaw explain how this ‘large town hall concept’ allows for ‘incidental meetings and greetings to strengthen the community spirit.’ Common facilities, such as a food hall, gym, day care centre, and mosque concentrated on the ground floor emphasize this idea.
Dark and enclosed offices are banished and replaced by direct access to natural light and views to the lush tropical greenery. Designed to celebrate the diversity of the company and its uniquely Indonesian setting, the architects set out to offer ‘carefully curated circulation, meeting points, sightlines [which] allow different departments with varied requirements to come together as a community that can flourish with ease and transparency.’
Acting as a series of shifting planes, the floorplates overlap and intersect to create secondary atria and double or triple volume green landscaped space, allowing planting opportunities deep into the building on several levels. To further anchor it into its flourishing Indonesian site, locally sourced material, recycled teak, and batik prints were used to furnish the space.
As a key building in a budding green office district, care was given to the sustainability of the headquarters. Completely glazed, it maximises daylight penetration and controls heat gain with grey horizontal louvers wrapping around the building. The depths of overlapping floor plates and the louvers are catered to the sun path. The extensive use of skylights allows abundant sunlight and maintains comfort by opting for laminated Low-E glass with 50% solid fritting.